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Chinese Seared Pork with Five-Spice Rhubarb Sauce
“In a play on Peking duck, rhubarb replaces plums in the typical sauce in this healthy Chinese pork recipe. The rhubarb sauce is also great with chicken or seafood, or as a dip for your favorite dumplings.”
1 cup chopped rhubarb, fresh or frozen (thawed)
⅓ cup water
⅓ cup honey plus 1 tablespoon, divided
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 large clove garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons finely diced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder, divided
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1½ pounds boneless pork chops (1 inch thick), trimmed
½ teaspoon ground pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup thinly sliced scallion greens
Small Chinese-style pancakes (see Tip) or flour tortillas for serving
1Combine rhubarb, water, ⅓ cup honey, hoisin, garlic, ginger, 1 teaspoon five-spice powder and crushed red pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and the rhubarb is very soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon soy sauce and lemon juice. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the sauce to a small bowl; refrigerate the remaining sauce until ready to serve.
2To make marinade, add the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon oil to the 2 tablespoons sauce. Season pork chops with the remaining 1 teaspoon five-spice powder, pepper and salt. Place the chops in a dish or sealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade; turn to coat well. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
3Preheat oven to 400°F.
4Blot the chops with paper towels. Lightly rub both sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Cook the chops on one side for 3 minutes. Turn them over and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 140°F, 6 to 8 minutes.
5Transfer the chops to a platter, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Reheat the refrigerated sauce. Slice the pork and serve with the sauce, scallions and pancakes (or tortillas), if using.
Make Ahead Tip:
To make Chinese-style pancakes, mix 1¼ cups all-purpose flour and ½ cup boiling water in a bowl until combined (the mixture will look shaggy). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Divide into 12 equal portions; roll each portion into a ball. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. Working with one at a time, on a lightly floured surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll each ball into a 5- to 6-inch pancake. Cook in batches in a lightly oiled cast-iron skillet (or griddle) over medium heat until speckled with golden brown spots, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Keep warm in a foil package or wrapped in a clean towel. Makes: 12 pancakes.
People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.